36 CFR 1250.20 - What do I include in my FOIA request?
In your FOIA request, which must be submitted in writing:
(a) Describe the records you seek in sufficient detail to enable NARA staff to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. The more information you provide, the better possibility NARA has of finding the records you are seeking. Information that will help NARA find the records includes:
(1) The agencies, offices, or individuals involved;
(2) The approximate date(s) when the records were created;
(3) The subject, title, or description of the records sought; and
(4) Author, recipient, case number, file designation, or reference number.
(b) Include your name and full mailing address as well as phone number and email address. This information allows us to reach you faster if we have any questions about your request. It is your responsibility to keep your current mailing address up to date with the office where you have filed the FOIA request.
(c) If you request records about yourself, you must do so in accordance with the Privacy Act and our implementing regulations at 36 CFR part 1202. This includes requirements to verify your identity (see 36 CFR 1202.40). If you request records about someone other than yourself, you may receive greater access if you submit either a notarized document signed by the other person that certifies their identity and gives their permission for you to have access, or proof that the other person is deceased (e.g., a copy of a death certificate or an obituary). NARA may, at its discretion, require you to supply additional information if necessary to verify that a particular individual has consented to disclosure of records about them.
(d) Mark both your letter and envelope, or the subject line of your email, with the words “FOIA Request.”
(e) Before filing your request, you may find it helpful to consult NARA's “Freedom of Information Act Reference Guide” - which is available electronically at http://www.archives.gov/foia/foia-guide.html, and in paper form. For a paper copy of NARA's FOIA Guide, write to: NARA FOIA Officer (NGC); Room 3110; National Archives and Records Administration; 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001. For additional information about the FOIA, you may refer directly to the statute at 5 U.S.C. 552 or visit http://www.foia.gov.